Everyone knows the recent Police Commissioner elections have not been without controversy. As Returning Officer for Wealden however, it is my job to count the votes, not to comment on the election or the candidates. Instead I just want to say a huge thank you firstly to the staff who made the election possible. A mixture of paid volunteers of all ages and council staff, they ran the 100 polling stations, spread over the 323 square miles of our district from 7am in the morning till 10pm on a dark November night.
Then at the election count they worked diligently, some of them through the night, and were the first team to deliver the result in Sussex. They are all Wealden people who do this kind of thing year after year, not for huge reward, but to make the exercise of your vote possible.
This election was no exception, but I did want to extend my thanks particularly this year to an anonymous Wealden Good Samaritan who helped one of my staff whose car had come off the road into a ditch in the early hours of the morning.
On Thursday, she was heading to set up her polling station in High Hurstwood when the accident happened - and unfortunately her mobile phone had no signal. Luckily she was able to flag down a man in a white van (they don’t always get the best press!) who not only stopped on his way to work but loaded her, that precious ballot box, and all the polling station paraphernalia into his van, and took her to the village hall to set up before continuing on his way. My volunteer staff member thanked him then, but was so focussed on opening on time she regrets she was not able to get his name - but you know who you are, and all of us at the council want to say a big thank you to you for taking care of her and for making sure we opened up on time to the Wealden public.
Chief Executive and Returning Officer for Wealden